Saturday, October 20, the Mighty Ballinger Bearcat Band competed in the UIL Region 6 Marching Contest. The BBB has been working diligently since August in order to be prepared for this contest. The BBB saw their hard work pay off big dividends on Saturday. They received Division 1, superior ratings from all judges.

The BBB is under the field direction of Head Drum Major Clarice McKinnon and Assistant Drum Majors Skylar Plant and Laura Brown. Color Guard Captain is Elyssa Korn-Flores. The 70 member band is driven by the phrase, “Excellence is What We Do!” Every pep rally, every Monday night rehearsal, every halftime, and every contest, the BBB strives to reach excellence. This work ethic resulted in their receiving straight Division 1’s, the best possible outcome for this year’s contest. (1A, 3A, and 5A bands were not eligible for advancement to the Area contest this year, but they will be next fall.)

Head band director Janet Wilson is extremely proud of her students and the work they put into this year’s show and points to several key components that allowed them to be successful.

“The students have such a great support system encouraging them on a daily basis. The BBB Booster Club, band parents, bus sponsors and drivers, teaching staff, coaching staff, and administration at BISD all come together to give support throughout contest season,“ she said.

The UIL show this year was “A Stretch of the Imagination” and was written by Luke McMillan. McMillan has been writing music for the BBB since 2005. Dr. Chris Neal, who was Wilson’s college band director, wrote the marching drill for the BBB. Assistant director for the BBB is Matthew Cleveland, color guard director is Deidra Dallas, and the percussion director is Nathan Garcia.

“Each of these staff members is vital to the success of the BBB,” said Wilson. “If one of these pieces is not in place there is high potential for the students to struggle. Having an outstanding band staff in place gives the students in the BBB the springboard to have an excellent contest season.”

She went on to praise the junior high band program which directly supports the high school program.

“Mr. Cleveland does a great job prepping the junior high students to be ready for the level of music and hard work that make a successful high school band. Fundamentals are the focus in junior high and those fundamentals are put into play at the high school level,” Wilson said.

This year the band was fortunate to have several clinicians that made a big impact on the outcome at UIL. Luke McMillan, Dr. Chris Neal, and Brian Owen all spent time working music, marching, and overall product during the course of the season.

Congratulations to the Mighty Ballinger Bearcat Band on an outstanding representation of your school, community, and your excellent band program.

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